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1
Tax Refunds Going to IRAs May Cause Snafus
2
What to Watch Out For With IRA’s
3
An Investment That Seemed too Good to Be True – Because It Was….
4
What’s an Index? – An Introduction to Market Indices
5
Can You Really Take a Social Security Benefit, Pay It Back, and Then Get A Bigger Benefit?

Tax Refunds Going to IRAs May Cause Snafus

Taxpayers who previously set up their tax refunds to be deposited directly to their IRAs this year will need to be vigilant: Economic Stimulus rebate checks will also be automatically deposited into any IRAs whose owners have set them up to receive tax refunds.

Normally, arranging for your tax refund to go into your IRA directly is a great idea – it protects you from the temptation to spend the refund.  Since most of us practice “mental accounting,” a tax refund that goes directly into our IRA won’t give us the feeling that we’re giving something up to save for …

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What to Watch Out For With IRA’s

IRA TricksIt’s not difficult to make a mistake with an IRA.  Although there are a few circumstances in which the IRS will make allowances for errors that were beyond your control, generally the rules around IRAs are pretty strict.  It’s best to be sure that you know what you’re doing; certain IRA-related errors can be a headache to fix (if they can be fixed at all).

Blunder Number One – Not Keeping Your Beneficiaries Current

Have you had a change of marital status?  Has your family grown in the last few years?  Have your financial circumstances changed significantly since the last …

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An Investment That Seemed too Good to Be True – Because It Was….

An Investment too Good to be TrueThere is a warm place in the Bostonian heart for locals who have become famous (or notorious, at least). One such was Charles Ponzi, the colorful fraud who emigrated to Boston in 1903 with a couple of dollars in his pocket and managed to become a millionaire by 1920 (before he got caught). Although he did not invent the “Ponzi Scheme,” he carried it off with such flair that when it recurs – as it does fairly often – it is invariably referred to by his name. The Associated Press reported recently that the SEC has frozen the assets of

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What’s an Index? – An Introduction to Market Indices

When I meet with a prospective client for the first time, I try to explain a little about my approach to investments. On a couple of occasions when I’ve mentioned “index mutual funds,” someone has asked me, “what’s an index?” I’m always happy to get this kind of question; such questions help me remember that not everyone on the planet is a personal finance geek (and that’s a good thing).

The Earliest US Market Index

The idea of a market index, in the US at least, apparently began with Charles Dow, the founder of the venerable Wall Street Journal.  He …

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Can You Really Take a Social Security Benefit, Pay It Back, and Then Get A Bigger Benefit?

An idea that seems to have gained a lot of attention through an article by financial journalist Scott Burns is worth examining. Basically, the idea is this: you retire at 62 and apply for Social Security benefits, which are reduced because you’re retiring early. Then, at age 70, you withdraw from Social Security, pay back the benefits you’ve received, and reapply. Now you receive a much bigger Social Security check.

Normally, if you start taking Social Security benefits at a certain age, your benefit level is locked in from that point forward, although you get cost-of-living adjustments.  You forfeit the …

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